Category Archives: Concert Announcements

Kingston Rudieska get Aggro

If you thought Kingston Rudieska‘s last release — Ska n’ Soul with Dr Ring-Ding — was too short, now they’ve gone and put out a full two-CD album. This latest project, titled Everyday People, shows off the nine-piece ska band in pure form. Simply put, they’ve never sounded more like themselves before.

The secret weapon in their arsenal this time was Brian Dixon, music engineer extraordinaire. You might have heard some of his music from his time playing guitar in the LA dirty reggae band the Aggrolites, but his main love is in producing music. Dixon was in Korea this September to record, giving Korea Gig Guide enough time to ask him a few questions about his mission here.

How were you convinced to come to Korea?

An old friend of mine, Walter Dunn, works for the US military and is stationed in Korea. He told me about Kingston Rudieska and that they were going to do a new album and that I should engineer/produce it. He told me they were great musicians, but they needed that “grit” that I’m known for.

Brian Dixon (right) with Walter Dunn, former vocalist of Stingers ATX

Brian Dixon (right) hangs out with Walter Dunn (left), former vocalist of Stingers ATX, at a Kingston Rudieska concert at Sungkyunkwan University.

I have traveled the world, but had never been to Korea. Kingston Rudieska are a tight band and I wanted to make them sound the way I hear them. It was a very easy sell. Getting to go to a foreign country to record ska/rocksteady/reggae is a blessing.

Can you explain your philosophy on music production? What makes a recording have grit?

My approach is so simple. I have the band play live together in the same room. No headphones. No separation. I put them in a circle, so they can all see each other. The band always plays better in their natural environment. This is how they rehearse. This is how they sound the best. It’s so easy.

What is one thing you can zero in on about Kingston Rudieska that you would say is truly unique and special?

I instantly Ioved their “Asian” take on Jamaican music. They do it differently than musicians from California. Musicians from Los Angeles have a certain take on Jamaican music. Asians have their way. Both are valid, in my opinion. Life isn’t fun if you eat the same dinner every night.

Is there a lot of what you would consider “Koreanness” in their music?

There’s some, but I wanted more. This was a big discussion during the recording. They wanted a more traditional Jamaican sound. I wanted a more “Korean sound,” using ancient traditional Korean melodies and instruments. They seemed a bit confused why I kept asking them to do that. Five thousand years of culture… it is amazing to me. Finally, the last day, they indulged me with a “jam session” – they pulled out two ancient Korean songs to play. It was amazing! They actually embraced their 5,000-year-old culture and played the music that is in their souls. Beautiful.

Why was it decided to do a second disc?

When I do production/engineering work, I usually ask the band to do a “jam session” for me. This is helpful for a number of reasons. I get to hear what the band is sounding like in that particular studio. I can check all of the mics. The band starts to relax and have fun, which makes recording their songs much easier because the studio can be stressful for musicians. Kingston Rudieska was against my idea at first. It’s just not the Korean way. On the last day, we finished with the recording of all their songs, so they allowed my “jam session.” That became the second disc. The second disc isn’t “perfect,” but it has a certain energy that is even higher than the album. An incredible few hours that I will never forget. The band was on fire!

How will this album compare to earlier Kingston Rudieska recordings?

I recorded them the way they were meant to sound!

The double album Everyday People was released at the start of the month, but the release party is happening on Saturday, December 13 at MUV Hall, around the corner from Sangsang Madang in Hongdae. The concert starts at 7 pm and tickets are 35,000 won in advance and 40,000 won at the door.

Kingston Rudieska Everyday People For more information, RSVP on Facebook.

The Business trip to Korea

Remember that time that classic UK punk band came to Korea for a show? No? Oh right, probably because this is the first time this has ever happened.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Business concluded their tour of Japan and flew to Korea for their August 15 show.

“I’ve been to Japan before, but not South Korea, the Business vocalist and last remaining original member Mickey Fitz told Dave Hazzan in an interview for Broke in Korea. It’s one of those places that you – I wouldn’t say never considered going to – but it’s one of those places that doesn’t pop into your head because you don’t know anybody there.”

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A Business meeting at skinhead-themed chicken restaurant This is Chicken. From left: Bundy, Fish, Redboi (promoter), Micky, and Trots.

Formed in South London in 1979, the Business were influential in the Oi! music scene of the late ’70s, a movement that rejected academic and artistic pretensions in favour of working-class street anthems. They had an impact on many younger bands, even all the way over here in Korea. One member even mentions that they were contacted by Korean pogo-punk band Couch several years ago when the band was seeking permission to cover their song “Drinking and Driving,” and they received a stack of Couch albums.

The Business was originally active from 1979 to 1988, and after a few years they reformed with a new lineup. The current drummer, Bundie, and bassist, Trots, have been with the band for a decade, and guitarist Fish has known Fitz for 20 years, and since joining, they estimate Fish has played about 400 shows with the band. Business is booming for the Business, and the current lineup has toured all over the world. On this tour, they’ll be selling copies of their latest EP, Back in the Day.

Redboi and his Business associates check out the venue, with Prism manager Son Jae-woo.

Redboi and his Business associates check out the venue, with Prism manager Son Jae-woo.

This show was made possible by an encounter with Redboi, an American who recently moved to Daegu with his wife who serves in the US military and their son. Redboi had run into the band in Nashville, Tennessee, and he invited them to play a show in Korea. In order to make it profitable, he helped them set up a tour of Japan as well, leaving the single Seoul date the final show of the tour.

The Business will be playing at Prism Hall on Friday, August 15, backed by local Oi! band Resolute, hardcore band Things We Say, and streetpunk band Rux. RSVP on Facebook for the Business show here. On Saturday, they’ll be taking a break from performing to go to Thunderhorse Tavern, where an afterparty concert is being organised in their honour, giving more Korean punks the chance to meet the band and show off their music. The acts for this show are skinhead reggae group Pegurians, pogo-punk group Return Bois, hardcore band Mixed Blood, punk band Cockrasher, and new black metal group Peaz Deaz. RSVP for the afterparty here.

business

Support the New Generation of Ska

So, there’s a free show at Thunderhorse Tavern this weekend. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to be cheap. The show is being held to support Team New Generation of Ska, a consortium of Korean skaholics (no, I did not make that word up) who have an ambitious plan. And I’m not talking about the Cass and Red Rock for 3000 won and 2000 won rum and cokes that will be offered from 10:30 to 11:30.

team_new_generation_of_ska_fundraiser_posterThis show is in support for a big ska festival planned for August 30, featuring Korea’s ska, ska-punk, and reggae bands, as well as two bands from Japan and one from America. They’ll be playing on Munwha Geori, the pedestrian-only street running between Sinchon Station and Yonsei University. And all this for free.

Eight years ago, Ryu Jinsuk of Skasucks launched the New Generation of Ska concert series, always with the idea to grow it into something bigger and more global. This year, as well as bringing together most of the Korean ska and ska-punk scene, they’re inviting Japanese two-tone-influenced bands Rollings and the Autocratics, as well as California’s Bruce Lee Band fronted by Mike Park, the Korean-American guy behind Asian Man Records. This milestone DIY festival is completely crowdfunded, with no signs yet of corporate sponsorship.

This Saturday, you can sample two of the bands that are part of Team New Generation of Ska.

Rudy Guns play ska-punk in a similar style to Skasucks: fun and full of energy.

The Pegurians are a new skinhead reggae band featuring Janghyup of the Korean oi band Resolute on vocals, and Korea’s #1 rudeboy Jude Nah on keyboard. Although they are a near-perfect recreation of an early reggae band from the ’60s, they bring a unique new sound to Korea.

As well, Rudy Guns and Pegurians are joined by Dead Buttons, recently back from a tour of the UK which we reported on earlier this year, and it’s clear they have no intention of slowing down. They will also be joined by The Woozy, another rock n roll/rockabilly/blues act that’s a little earlier in their career but still doing great.

So, please come out this Saturday and show your support. For more information or to donate, please visit the Team New Generation of Ska Tumblbug page, or visit their Facebook page to find out how to make a bank transfer. Also, you can read an interview with Ryu Jinsuk about the festival over at DoIndie.

The show starts this Saturday at 9pm. RSVP on Facebook.

…Whatever That Means CD Release on May 10

Earlier this year, Jeff and Trash Moses celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. They also celebrated five years as a band, playing guitar and bass for …Whatever That Means, a project that debuted on their wedding night as a one-off thing for Jeff.

Now, they’re releasing their second full-length album, Sixty-Eight, Twenty-Two, a reference to the distance from Hongdae Playground to the apartment they lived in in Pennsylvania while Jeff was in grad school. The title song, with guest vocals by Jonghee from Rux, is about Jeff’s journey to Korea and turning it into his adopted home. “Where you grow up and where you’re from, they don’t always stay the same,” Jeff explains in the lyrics. Recently, they recorded a music video for the song in their Yeomni-dong rooftop home, further declaring that this is where they belong.

Impressively, they only got one call from the police.

Impressively, they only got one call from the police.

The album also includes a cover of the Suck Stuff classic “This Wasteland,” with guest vocals from Paul, the original songwriter/singer, as well as a proper recording of “Punk Rock Tourist,” Jeff’s condemnation of random people coming to punk shows and criticising the scene out of their own ignorance/experience.

10336648_248731691999847_8966933574919543865_nThe CD officially debuted at a show in Gwangju last weekend, and it comes out this Saturday at Club Spot. For the Seoul debut, they team up with Wasted Johnny’s, the only band in Korea with more confusing punctuation than …Whatever That Means, as well as Gwangju skatepunk band Bettyass, Seoul ska-punk legends SKASUCKS, Oi! Resolute, and skatepunk band 1Ton.

The show starts at 8pm, and 15,000 won gets you entry, a free CD, and the infamous free cocktail hour from 11 to 12.

RSVP on Facebook.

2013 Korea/Japan Punk Festival at Prism Nov 16

Historically Korea and Japan have gotten along about as well as vinegar and baking soda. That can’t be said for the punk scenes of the two countries, which have been best of friends as far back as anyone can remember.
Poster for the 2013 Korea Japan Punk Festival
The longest-running bilateral punk collaboration would have to be the Korea/Japan Punk Festival, first held nine years ago on June 26, 2003 in legendary Hongdae punk club Skunk Hell, with nine of Korea’s best punk bands and seven bands from Japan. The following year, it was held in Anti-Knock in Tokyo.

Since then, it has been held almost every year, with the Korean shows moving to Club Spot after Skunk Hell’s closure. This year the festival is moving to the much larger and better-lit Prism Hall over by Hotel the Designers for its fifth time being held in Korea (ninth overall).

koreajapanoifest2004This year’s show brings a diverse selection of 17 great Korean bands, both young and old, together with five Japanese bands. One highlight should be the Discocks, a legendary Japanese band formed in 1992 that directly inspired the infamous Korean band Couch and Seoul’s pogo-punk scene of the mid-2000s. We’ll also get to see the Erections and 00squad, both who played the Japan/Korea Punk Festival last year. We’ll also get to see Osaka pogo band Beer Belly (who are promoted for this show as Bearbelly) and the Foolishness.

koreajapanpunkfest2011Some of the Korean highlights will be Korea/Japan Festival veterans Rux, Skasucks, and Daejeon’s Burning Hepburn, as well as  talented newcomers the Veggers and Dead Buttons, and new bands with veteran Korean punks 100 Blossom Club (with members of Spiky Brats, Cockrasher, Dirty Small Town, and the Patients) and Heimlich County Gun Club (featuring Paul Brickly, former guitarist of Rux and Suck Stuff).

Previously, the festival was known under the name Korea/Japan Oi! Fest, then Korea/Japan Oi/Punk Fest. The festival was first organised in Korea by Won Jonghee (lead vocalist of Rux and manager of Skunk Hell and Skunk Label) and Shin Hyeon-beom (Couch vocalist/guitarist). This year’s festival is being managed by Ryu Jin-seok (lead vocalist of Skasucks).
koreajapanpunkfest2012The Korea/Japan Punk Fests always make for great shows, as all the bands and their supporters always put on a big show for their Japanese guests, and the Japanese bands in turn always put on great performances. International friendships are made and the wheels are set in motion for future Korea/Japan punk collaborations, and you’ll never hear as much English spoken at a Korean punk show, as everyone falls to the common language for communication.

This show starts early at 2 pm because there are more than 20 bands to get to, but expect things to move fast as the bands whip through shortened versions of their sets to make time for everyone else.

Click here to  RSVP or find out how to book tickets in advance.

The Killers Coming To Seoul in October

**KOREA GIG GUIDE HAS FREE TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY FOR THE KILLERS’ SEOUL CONCERT. DETAILS ON HOW TO WIN THE TICKETS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST**

Chart-topping American rock band The Killers will be playing their first ever concert in Korea on Saturday, October 5 in Seoul at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park.

The Killers

Formed in 2001 in Las Vegas, over the past dozen years the quartet have released four full-lengths, headlined some of the biggest music festivals in the world, and gathered a whole lots of accolades and awards. Their first album, 2004’s “Hot Fuss,” was ranked no. 33 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s “The 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time” list, and the disc’s lead single, “Mr. Brightside,” was ranked no. 5 on NME’s 2011 “150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years” list.

The Killers are currently on tour in support of last year’s “Battle Born.” This past June they played the 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium in London – their largest headlining gig to date. The Guardian reviewed the concert and gave the band a 5/5 for their performance, which bodes well for fans attending The Killers’ upcoming Seoul performance.

The group recently announced that they will be releasing a greatest hits album in November called “Direct Hits.” The offering will also boast two new songs including a track called “Shot at the Night” which was produced by M83′s Anthony Gonzalez. You can check out “Shot at the Night” below.

The Killers play at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park on Saturday, October 5. The show starts at 7 pm and tickets cost from 77,000 won – 121,000 won. Advanced tickets can be purchased in English here and in Korea here.

The Killers Poster

Want to win a pair of free tickets to see The Killers play at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park? Korea Gig Guide has two pairs of tickets to give away for the band’s October 5 concert courtesy of 9 Ent. To qualify for the tickets, simply share this story on Facebook or Twitter. Then email us at koreagigguide@gmail.com to let us know that you’ve posted the link to your Facebook or Twitter page, and we’ll add your name to the draw. The contest closes at 12 pm on Friday, September 27 and we’ll notify winners by 2 pm that day. Good luck!

Bellydancing to Yukari, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, and Toyshop

Seoul indie acts Yukari, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, and Toyshop will collaborate with bellydancers Eshe and Navah on Friday night (August 23) at Club Freebird as part of the Shake Shop concert series.  As always, the monthly event is co-presented by Mangwon’s Dream Dance Studio and Korea Gig Guide.

Having never seen live bellydancing before, dream pop artist Yukari is looking forward to being a part of Shake Shop.

“I’ve seen bellydancing on TV, but I haven’t actually seen a bellydance performance yet so I’m excited about being able to watch a real show,” she says.  “I think our collaboration is going to be a lot of fun because my music is very different from traditional bellydance music.”

Currently gigging behind her excellent 2012 “Echo” EP, Yukari plans to continue doing shows until October.  In November, she will begin crafting music for her debut full-length album.  She hopes to issue the finished recording next summer.

Seoul post-punk quartet Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio are definitely one of Hongdae’s most promising up-and-comers right now.  The band played at the Green Plugged festival in May and also appeared at the Jisan World Rock Festival a few weeks back.  They were recently added to the lineup for this fall’s Grand Mint Festival as well.  Their best known cut is the catchy, playful “Shut Up and Dance.”  The members usually showcase a bit of their two-stepping skills while performing the song.  Perhaps we’ll see them dancing together with the bellydancers at Shake Shop?

Instrumental post-rock quintet Toyshop performed at the inaugural Shake Shop event back in February.  The group’s fantastic, cinematic compositions fit wonderfully with bellydancing and the band and the dancers have wanted to work together again ever since.

And while we’re thrilled to have them on the bill for volume 7 of the Shake Shop we’re also a bit sad as well.  Guitarist Joseph Lee and drummer Hyunjin Cho will both be starting their mandatory military service soon so this will be their final concert with the band.  But on the positive side, at least they’ll be ending things with a very cool collaborative performance.  The video below is of Toyshop and Eshe at Shake Shop Vol. 1.

The Shake Shop Vol. 7 takes place on Friday, August 23 at Club Freebird. The show starts at 11:00 pm and the cover charge is 10,000 won with one free drink. Eshe and Navah will perform alongside Yukari, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, and Toyhshop. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here.

Japandroids — Ready to Rock City Break

Canadian two-man rock duo Japandroids are definitely one of my favorite groups these days. I caught them at Primavera in Barcelona about three years ago and, despite having no idea who they were at the time, absolutely loved their set. Since then, their second album, Celebration Rock, took off, turning them into one of the hottest groups around.

I missed Japandroids on their first trip to Korea, earlier this year, but was very happy to see them on the bill of this weekend’s City Break festival, over in Jamsil Sports Complex.  In fact, Sunday’s line-up at City Break looks pretty amazing, imho. It starts out with two of my favorite Korean indie groups, Juck Juck Grunzie and Apollo 18, then has Japandroids, followed by two of the most important Korean rockers of the 1970s, Kim Chang Wan and Shin Joong-hyun. So I’ll definitely be there for that show.

Drummer David Prowse of Japandroids was nice enough to answer a few questions over email. I used a couple of his comments in my column about the festival over in the Korea JoongAng Daily today. But I thought Korea Gig Guide readers might be interested in the whole thing:

Q. After coming so close to breaking up at one point a few years ago, did you guys have a “Holy shit, this is actually going to succeed!” moment?

Prowse: When we decided to stop doing the Japandroids thing, we had been a band for a number of years and didn’t really feel like we were any closer to success than we had been when we started. I don’t think we had particularly lofty goals — I just wanted to be a band that was able to tour a little bit and have a label that would put our records. I wasn’t interested in being rich or famous. I just wanted more people to hear our music, and be able to tour without playing empty rooms every night. So I would say that by the time we went on our first tour of the US and Canada, in June 2008, we had already experienced about 10 “Holy Shit” type moments. “Holy Shit – Pitchfork wrote about us!” “Holy Shit – Unfamiliar Records wants to put out Post-Nothing” and so on and so forth. Looking back, that first tour was the real turning point for us where we transitioned from being two guys who love playing music in their spare time to being (I hate this term but can’t think of a better way of putting it) “professional musicians.”

Q. Now that you’ve been promoting this album for more than a year, have you seen many changes in how audiences respond to it? Their favourite songs? Or how you approach the songs?

Some of the first shows we played after we finished recording Celebration Rock was SXSW in March of 2012.  It was a scary thing playing those new songs for people initially. We were happy with the songs, but it was so hard to gauge how they would be received, especially considering how attached some people had become to Post-Nothing. It was hard to believe we could make something that people who like as much as that record.

When the new record actually came out, in June of 2012 , it was crystal clear that Celebration Rock was going to be a lot bigger than Post-Nothing. You could see it at the shows pretty much instantaneously – all of a sudden people knew all the words to the new songs, and were just as excited about the new stuff as the old stuff.

At this point,  so many more people know Celebration Rock compared to Post-Nothing, let alone anything older than that. I think we both assumed that “Young Hearts Spark Fire” would be our “hit”, or whatever you want to call it, for the duration of our time as Japandroids, and now I would say that there are at least three songs from Celebration Rock that get more of a response from the audience on any given night. It’s been pretty amazing to see this record keep growing as we continue to tour on it…

Q. Anything particularly memorable of your last show in Korea? Or your swing through Asia?

The last Asian tour was incredibly exciting for us. It’s such a surreal experience to travel somewhere as foreign as South Korea, for example, and get to play for several hundred people who actually know your songs. I remember one of the stranger moments of that tour was being in Seoul and seeing the news reports about North Korea’s underground missile tests. We were pretty freaked out by that, but to everybody in Seoul it just seemed like business as usual to hear about the potential threat of nuclear war. People watched the news, talked about it for a little while, and then went on with their day. I suppose there’s not much else you can do, but it was a pretty surreal scene for me to witness.

Q. Two Asian tours in a year? Is this a sign of your getting more popular in this part of the world, or do you see the Asia market in general getting better for tours for groups like yours? Or are you too wrapped up in the day-to-day of touring to get a sense of where your fans are and what’s going on?

It seems like the world is opening up to “indie rock” in a pretty amazing way right now. I think a lot of that has to do with how accessible music has become because of music review websites and digital file sharing. It’s interesting to me how bands are able to share their music so much more easily while at the same time they have a harder and harder time actually being able to sell their music and be able to make a living from record sales. I think we’ve been able to take advantage of this new musical landscape in a lot of really cool ways, because we can tour pretty cheaply since we’re a two piece, and because we enjoy touring and are interested in going to as many places as possible. Before we’ve actually gone and played a show somewhere, it can be very hard to gauge how popular we are in certain countries and certain cities, so the first tour of Asia was just to see if there was any interest in our band.  It went really well so we wanted to make sure to come back as soon as possible, and luckily we managed to sneak in one more tour of Asia and Australia before our record cycle was done!

Q. With all these summer shows, have you gotten a chance to check out many local acts in other parts of the world? Have you come across any local music scenes that really impressed you?

For the most part, we usually just tour with one other band for an entire tour, and don’t have local support acts most nights. That touring strategy has some big upsides — for example, it’s really great to get to know a band over the course of a tour and you usually form a pretty lasting bond when you get to play with the same band night after night. Plus you can really streamline the schedule and it just makes touring way easier logistically.  The downside, of course, is you miss the chance to randomly see a band who genuinely surprise you and inspire you that you knew nothing about previously. It’s a really amazing thing when that happens. The last time it happened for me actually was when we were in Busan and Genius opened for us. That band just made me really, really happy. They’re great.

Q. And, of course, what’s next for Japandroids? Touring for the next five years? Sick of each other and ready to commit dual homicides? Time to start work on a new album?

Well, we haven’t killed each other yet, so that’s good! But it’s certainly time for us to have break for a while. Once the excitement of touring wears off and we’re home for a minute, I think we’re both going to pass out for a while. Then once we’ve recovered we can figure out what we’re doing next…

Japandroids play at Jamsil Sports Complex on Sunday, August 18 as part of City Break.  The show starts at 11 a.m., and Japandroids will perform from 3:30 – 4:10 pm.  One-day tickets for City Break are 165,000 won and a two-day pass costs 250,000 won.  For more information on buying tickets, visit here.

So Many Fests!

With a few great festivals having taken place this year already, the next three months sees a plethora of big events for music lovers in South Korea. No matter what genre you are into, there is something for you, and it begs the question, is there too much?

Here is a brief overview of what you can expect in summer 2013 in terms of big music festivals.

Ansan Valley Rock Festival – So the spin off from Pentaport has now changed its location and name, only for someone else to steal their previous name and location. Confused? This one is the team that has been behind the last four Jisan Valley Rock Festivals, and has now moved to Daebu Island, but is keeping the same dates and set up. With a very strong line up, including big names Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Skrillex, Stereophonics, My Bloody Valentine, The XX, Foals, and Fun performing alongside a range of other acts, this continues to be the one to beat this summer. Will the new location improve things?

One- and three-day tickets, plus camping packs, are all on sale, and the fest takes place on the last weekend of July, from the 26-28th.  One-day tickets cost 140,000 won in advance and 160,00 won at the gates.  Three-day tickets cost 240,000 won in advance and 260,000 won at the gates.  Information on buying tickets in English is here.

Jisan World Rock Festival- The old venue, almost the old name, but an all-new event – the first Jisan World Rock Festival has surely surprised a few people with its strong line up. Jamiroquai, Placebo, Weezer, Nas, The Dandy Warhols and Switchfoot join an array of local and Japanese bands. Taking place on August 2-4, it could be the dark horse of the summer.

There’s a 10% discount on tickets until July 31.  One-day tickets are currently 112,500 won (but go up to 125,000 won on August 1).  Two-day tickets are 162,000 won (but go up to 180,000 won on August 1).  Three-day tickets are 225,000 won (but go up 250,000 won on August 1).  Information on buying tickets in English is here.

Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival - The oldest running event, going since 2006, has a few big names at this year’s edition.  Most notably Suede and Fall Out Boy, along with veterans Steelheart, Skid Row, Testament, and more recent acts like Blood Red Shoes, The Big Pink and Glasvegas. It’s handily located in Incheon and it takes place on August 2-4, meaning people have to make a big decision between Pentaport and Jisan World Rock Festival.

There’s a 5% discount on tickets until August 1.  One-day tickets are currently 94,000 won (but go up to 99,000 won on August 2).  Two-day tickets are 135,800 won (but go up 143,000 won on August 2).  Three-day tickets are 156,700 won (but go up to 165,000 won on August 2).  Information on buying tickets in English is here.

Super Sonic - In its second year, this two-day, mid-week festival is showing a nice variety, with big names including the Pet Shop Boys, John Legend, Earth Wind & Fire, Two Door Cinema Club, Hot Chelle Rae, and Will Moon, along with locals like Glen Check, Cho Yong Pil and Dickpunks. Information on buying tickets in English is here.

Citybreak - I waited with baited breath to see which festival would secure the two biggest names performing in Japan at Summer Sonic, only for none of them to grab Metallica and Muse.  So I was quite please to see this all-new event that is being shaped around them.  Along with the above mentioned headliners, this fest has already added Limp Bizkit, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Ash, Japandroids, Rise Against, The Used, Rocket From the Crypt, and White Lies along with Apollo 18, Kiha & Faces, and Goonam. Information on buying tickets in English is here.

There are also a few smaller events that are definitely worth checking out, most with predominantly local line ups, but they are all definitely worth your time.

Horock Horock festival in Daejeon (July 5-6)

Stepping Stone Festival in Jeju (July 13)

Busan International Rock Festival (Aug 2-4)

Lets Rock Festival (Sep13-14)

We will try to keep you up-to-date as more acts are added to all of the above events, so keep checking out Korea Gig Guide and good luck with your 2013 summer fest decisions.

Some Great New Post-rock to Dive Into

Seoul post-rock quartet Modsdive will be playing on Friday night (June 28) at Mudaeruk in Hongdae in support of their recently issued debut “The Stasis of Humanity.”

Modsdive is comprised of guitarist Yoon Sung-hoon (ex-Donawhale), guitarist Kim Yun-ki (ex-Poe), bassist Choi Gyung-hoon (ex-Misty Blue), and drummer Kang Min-suk. The act was originally conceived as a solo project for Yoon in 2011 called Auhm. Wanting to turn it into a proper band, he began recruiting other members in early 2012. Kim and Choi were both friends of Yoon, while Kang was found through an online ad.

“We started working on music together right after we had our lineup solidified,” says Yoon. “There were songs and ideas that I had already come up with, but once we started jamming on them together everyone’s different styles began mixing together and the songs became something different and new. We had great chemistry together, which allowed us to carve out our own sound as Modsdive.”

This past winter, the group spent two months crafting “The Stasis of Humanity.” The band recorded the album’s drum parts at a proper studio. But everything else was recorded at Apollo 18’s rehearsal space.

“The monitor sound in the rehearsal space was horrible,” says Yoon. “We couldn’t hear a thing we were recording. Apollo 18’s bassist Kim Dae-inn came in at one point and asked us how we could possibly record there. Luckily, when Gyung-hoon played everything back at his house everything sounded fine.”

“The Stasis of Humanity” was issued in April by new local imprint Gogol Records – an indie label founded by the members of Apollo 18. On June 1, the band held a special showcase for “The Stasis of Humanity” at Badabie, and performed album cut “Hide in the Fog” live for the first time at the concert.

Modsdive’s dynamic, powerful instrumental post-rock sounded fantastic at their Badabie showcase gig. The night easily proved that they are definitely a band on the rise in the Korean indie scene. The group are already thinking of ideas for the follow-up to “The Stasis of Humanity” and plan to start work on their sophomore full-length this winter. They intend to introduce new tracks into their live sets during the coming months, which should give you plenty of reason to check out one of their concerts.

“There’s nothing more exciting than seeing how audiences react to new material at live performances,” says Yoon. “Our next album will cover a much wider spectrum and will include more of the unique colors of Modsdive.”

Modsdive play on Friday night at Mudaeruk. The show starts at 7 pm and tickets are 20,000 won.  Romantiqua, Toyshop, Rukh, and Platanus are also on the bill.